According to reports, 1,235 fish, including eagle rays and double-lined fusiliers, were found dead at Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district. The fish, who were held captive in a tank, are thought to have died from oxygen deprivation that was caused when the zoo’s staff stopped the bubble-generating tank cleaner.
— Japan Today News (@JapanToday) November 9, 2017
This tragic incident is a stark reminder that animals do not belong in aquariums.
Everything about a marine animal’s life in an aquarium is artificial, from the minerals added to the water to the water’s oxygen-saturation level, which would normally be produced by wave action and other natural processes. The basic life-sustaining elements of an artificial aquarium are held in a delicate balance, and the consequences of inevitable human errors and mechanical malfunctions are, as this incident demonstrates, often disastrous.
Aquariums teach all the wrong lessons: that it’s acceptable to imprison animals, deprive them of the freedom to move, and deny them the chance to explore and establish their natural territories. They teach that it’s acceptable to watch them go insane from frustration and loneliness and to breed and separate them from each other as we please.
Thanks to documentaries like Blackfish, people around the world increasingly recognize that animals don’t belong in captivity and are choosing not to support cruel aquariums where depressed animals are imprisoned in small tanks.
What You Can Do
Aquariums and marine parks are part of a for-profit industry built on the suffering of intelligent animals. Please don’t visit these or other facilities that keep ocean animals in captivity. Encourage your friends and family to choose humane activities, such as scuba diving and snorkeling, to observe animals without disturbing them.